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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The fertilizer in which good ideas grow

Job number one isn’t to have good ideas, it’s to have gobs of ideas. To strengthen the creative muscle until it’s quivering and veiny and oiled up. Because any seed to imagination is healthy, safe and useful. 

In fact, bad ideas might someday inspire you to come up with something better. They’re the fertilizer in which your good ideas grow. 

My wife and I come up with bad ideas on a daily basis. Every night at dinner, we add to our running list of insane product concepts, bizarre television shows and absurd web applications. It’s great fun, great practice and great training for our creative brains. 

What’s more, you never know when you might need an old idea, It could rise again one day to enhance a perspective the present cannot imagine. 

The other point is, bad ideas aren’t always bad because of poor quality, but because of poor timing. 

Magnavox created the first video game console, but the designers failed to include a central processing unit and memory chip in each cartridge. Woops. 

Xerox’s launched the first personal computer in the early eighties, but it was slower than syrup and cost sixteen thousand dollars. Yikes. 

Gateway attempted to combined television and personal computing in one device, but customers weren’t convinced that they needed such a product. Bummer. 

And so, each of these ideas were inherently good, but bad because the marketplace and the technology and the culture weren’t ready for them yet. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How can you expect to have a good idea if you haven’t had a hundred bad ones first?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Moments of Conception 187 -- The Conference Scene in Yes Man

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


Based on my books in The Prolific Series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the conference scene in Yes Man:




A little willingness goes a long way. Karl vows to say yes to every offer, invitation, challenge and chance that comes his way. And his commitment to complete openness send him on a trajectory of adventure, abundance and yes, even amore. Karl discovers that the more he says yes to life, the more life gives back to him. Which may be a story we’ve seen million times before, but frankly, our cynical world could use a refresher. Because negativity is the easy way out. It’s a luxury item. Any asshole can be unhappy. It requires exactly zero calories. Optimism, on the other hand, actually requires work. It forces us to cultivate the art of observation. But the dividends are worthwhile. Saying yes and raising your hand and trying lots of new things is precisely what helps success find you. Because the process increases your field of vision, which allows you to better notice the opportunities that lead to success. Mindset may not affect the outcome, but it does affect the experience. Philippe, the greatest tightrope walker in history, wrote a daring book about this very philosophy. He said our job as artists is to explore mysterious desert islands of wonder. Because in chaos, all is possible. Every incoming idea is welcome, with no regard to reality. Forget time, money or reason, he says, embrace the brimming universe that sets your artistic crimes in motion. Are you living by the improvisational decree of saying yes to everything

People love people who give permission. Terrence may be a browbeating bullshit artist, but you have to appreciate the guru’s ability to give people permission. That, in my opinion, is the greatest gift we can offer. Permission, that invitation to reach deep down inside and express what is there, without reserve and without regret, is something every one of us craves. We just need someone to go first. The trick is, then, is that giving people permission isn’t some parlor trick we learn at public speaking school. It’s not a manipulative sales tactic we read in a book about persuasion. Permission is an act of embodiment. It’s not about the adjectives of our language, but the audacity of our lives. We inspire people to believe in themselves when we first throw ourselves boldly and joyfully into the life adventure, never looking over our shoulder to see who’s laughing. Velvet, for example, only sold ten thousand copies of their debut album, but everyone who bought it went out and formed their own band. That’s permission. I remember when first sent out the press release about my concert documentary, an artist friend of mine told me that each time she saw something of mine, she put more things on her creative bucket list. Mission accomplished. That’s impact. That’s exactly the kind of response I want. And it can’t be accomplished by playing covers. Because that wouldn’t be creating something personal. Forging other people’s art doesn’t involve undergoing the emotional labor of taking a risk and extending yourself. Whom are you giving permission?

No is the gateway to yes. Realistically, we can’t say yes to everything. Boundaries have to be drawn. The guru even admits that the goal isn’t to say yes to everything, but to open our minds to other possibilities without permanently taking away our ability to say no if we needed to. Life isn’t a romantic comedy. We are entitled to have our own best interests at heart. And so, there could just as easily be a sequel to this movie about the opposite of yes. About the power of saying no to the stories that do not serve our own evolution. That’s what reinvention is all about. Saying no to an outdated version of ourselves. Saying no to the labels and histories and stories we thought made up who we are. Saying no to stupid behaviors we continue to do because we think they’re somehow associated with the good things that have happened to us. Altucher wrote a powerful book on this very topic, saying that every time you hurt yourself, there was a no you did not respect. That’s the nature of boundaries. If we don’t set them for ourselves, other people will set them for us, and then they will violate them. And it will be our fault because we didn’t set a precedent. Ultimately, saying yes is the still the path to abundance and adventure. It’s still the optimal response to life. But we can never forget, we are defined by what we declined. Only by saying no to the good can we make room to say yes to the best. Are you able to hold a courageous conversation to reinforce your boundaries?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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For a copy of the list called, "11 Ways to Out-Market the Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Eyes Full Of Dreams -- Chapter 09: Higher Ground (2015) -- Scott Ginsberg Concert Documentary

Eyes Full Of Dreams is a musical and motivational masterclass about making use of everything you are. 

This film will be presented as a serialized, episodic documentary. I’m premiering each song as a stand alone chapter.


Watch the movie, buy the album and download the dream journal at www.eyesfullofdreams.com.




Higher Ground Move matters to a higher ground It’s the only game we play Be careful around Those strong enough to stay away Seeking out some second act problems It’s harder to think than pray The noise, it just toys with me The noise, it just toys with me Move matters to a higher ground Keeps me locked to sanity The past comes around In the muddy pools of memory Gobble up this hard but useful medicine From two am to infinity The noise, it just toys with me The noise, it just toys with me We will wreck some shop Until our bodies stop We will wreck some shop Until our bodies stop It’s better Not to dream alone Come together With them feet of stone

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What's blocking your dreams?

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For a copy of the list called, "26 Ways to Out Brand Your Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

"Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!"  --Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Instead of feeding it, feed on it

Gruber’s research on positive psychology found that attempting to suppress negative emotions, rather than accepting and appreciating them, paradoxically can backfire and increase feelings of distress. 

She writes that one idea which is overdue for retirement is that sadness is bad and happiness is good. Because negative emotions can be a beautiful thing. They aid our survival with cues about threats. They help us focus and persist in times of adversity. 

I’m reminded of a interview I heard with a famous comic book artist, who talked about how creativity helped him heal the trauma he experienced as an abandoned child. Dean put it eloquently: I was in the darkness, but then I realized I could wrap it around myself and use it as my cape. Hence, his successful career in writing stories about superheroes. 

It’s a somber reminder that each of us must acknowledge that the shadow self does exist, and that we ought to ask ourselves, how can we keep from feeding it to where it becomes out of control? 

Simple. Instead of feeding it, feed on it. Make it part of your diet. Treat the shadow self as an energy source. Channel it into creating inspiring art or fostering social change or running charity triathlons. That’s the encouraging part about negative emotion. It doesn’t care what you do with it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How mindfully do you ride the ebbs and tides of your rich emotional life?

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For a copy of the list called, "19 Way to be the One Person Everybody Remembers at the Conference," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Churchill was full of shit

If you’ve been in the entrepreneurship game five or seven or even ten years, and you’re still running in place, perpetuating the plateau, failing to make any significant progress with your enterprise, consider the possibility that you have made the wrong investment. 

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Bloomberg’s latest research reports that eight out of ten entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first eighteen months. And so, in the same way that we all outgrow some of our beliefs, we all create enterprises that eventually outlive their usefulness. 

I have a friend who recently closed the doors his business after eight years. The announcement was a bittersweet moment, but ultimately, he was ready to start a new chapter of his life that didn’t include working weekends, schlepping his products around town and hustling to craft shows only to barely break even. 

That’s a mature businessperson. That’s a guy guaranteed to be successful in his next endeavor. Somebody who knows when to hold em, knows when to fold em, knows when to walk away, and knows when to run. 

That’s more admirable than the stubborn, invulnerable, macho sea captain who insists on going down with the ship. 

Churchill was full of shit. Sometimes giving up is the smartest move you can make. Because it’s not about quitting on yourself, it’s about showing respect to yourself, staying honest with yourself and setting boundaries for yourself. 

Remember, there’s nothing noble about refusing to move on just because your business is too convenient to be killed. Better to cut your losses and move on than continue placing your faith in an idea that’s failed you. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What established idea is ready to move aside so you can advance? 

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For a copy of the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The greatest advantage is to not need it

Thoreau famously said that happiness is like a butterfly. The more we chase it, the more it will elude us, but if we turn our attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on our shoulder. 

Taoist scholars call this experience paradoxical unity, in which any over determined action produces its exact opposite. Consciously try to grab it, and it’s gone. The moment we try to catch it, we miss it. 

Sound like spiritual mumbo jumbo? It’s not. Paradoxical unity is very real thing, even if it’s not called by that particular name. 

Baumeister’s research on the emotional regulation of top athletic performers helps make sense of this phenomenon. He explains that there is a cruel irony about choking under pressure. You’re directing your conscious attention to the process of performance, in order to help run the show and make certain that everything is done right. But the conscious mind does not hold the knowledge of how to execute the performance properly. And so, your increased conscious attention interferes with the automatic quality of the well learned response. 

It’s that damn butterfly. Paradoxical unity. Any over determined action produces its exact opposite. The moment we try to catch it, we miss it. 

What’s interesting is when we start applying that concept to business. Especially the sales process. Because the moment we start telegraphing neediness, buyers can smell it. The very act of trying contaminates the result. 

On the other hand, when we’re willing to walk away from new business, buyers can’t help but be attracted to our confidence and sense of restraint. Saying no to a person in power is like chum in the water. To paraphrase from the aforementioned scripture, when you desire nothing, a great deal comes to you; when you show you want it, the less likely you are to get it; when you telegraph neediness, you get less of what you desire; and when you stop seeking the world, you allow the to world come to you. 

Try not needing something. You’ll be surprised how many doors that posture can open. 

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Have you embraced the phenomenon of paradoxical unity?

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For a copy of the list called, "11 Things to Stop Wasting Your Time On," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The marketplace can’t resist the gravitational pull of your orbit

My favorite joke from childhood was, where does the eight hundred pound gorilla sit in a movie theater? 

Anywhere he wants. 

Which is hilarious to a kid, because you wonder what kind of candy he eats. Probably gummy worms. 

To businessperson, however, the joke is actually quite insightful. Because in a free market, volume is the ultimate skeleton key. Once you find a way to create more than enough of what you need so that you never need to worry about running out, new doors magically start to open. Luck begins to seek you out. Opportunities coming knocking. And you can sit anywhere you want. 

There’s just so damn much of you, so it’s hard for the marketplace to resist the gravitational pull of your orbit. 

The misconception, though, is that being an eight hundred pound gorilla is somehow a bad thing. Because the expression typically refers to a person or organization so powerful and aggressive and intimidating, that it can act without regard to the rights of others or the law. Like a geopolitical force or military operation or behemoth corporate entity that crushes its would be competitors with their bottomless resources. 

But the reality is, not all gorillas are scary and loud and violent. They’re just big. And so, there’s no reason a one man consulting shop or a husband and wife design firm or a three person punk band or a four man tech startup or a five person digital agency can’t create volume, too. 

The question is, what’s the primary asset? What’s the one thing you can create more of than anybody else in your space? 

Perhaps it’s your intellectual property. Or your global network. Or your legions of fans. Or your weekly live show. Or your loyal user base. 

Understanding and leveraging this asset is your competitive advantage. 

It’s what earns you the right to sit anywhere you want. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
If you created more than enough of what you need so that you never need to worry about running out, what opportunities would that volume afford you?

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For a copy of the list called, "10 Best Books on Creativity You've Never Heard Of," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Go Behind The Scenes On Scott Ginsberg's New Concert Documentary, "Eyes Full Of Dreams"

I recently did an interview with Todd Schnick at Intrepid Now.

We went behind the scenes on my new concert documentary, Eyes Full Of Dreams.


In this discussion, I'll answer questions like...


*Why are people so hesitant to pursue their dreams?

*What inspired you to make a film about pursuing your own dreams? And did you meet any resistance?

*Aren’t we on this Earth to make art? To create? To leave a mark? And exactly how do people break free to actually do this?


*How do you deal with roadblocks?

*Is this a documentary? Or is it a masterclass in living life?

*What's the production of an independent film such as this? How did you build a team? Create it? Storyboard it? Collaborate on it? Post-production?

*How do we actually determine what our dreams are? 


Listen to our conversation here.


And if you haven't seen the trailer for the film yet, enjoy:




LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's blocking your dreams?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "11 Ways to Out-Market the Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Moments of Conception 186 -- The Forging Scene from Incognito

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


Based on my books in The Prolific Series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the forging scene in Incognito:




Ideas are free, execution is priceless.
I’m a big believer in small victories. Getting your brain wired into little goals and achieving them. Even if it’s as simple as writing an action item on a sticky note, doing it, and crossing it off. The point is getting into the habit of continually setting goals that have to be met. The point is surrounding yourself with concrete evidence of execution on a small scale, which inspires you to achieve bigger things down the road. This past year, for example, I stopped make to do lists. Because they were just scraps of paper filled with ideas. But I don’t need ideas, I need I dids. And so, instead, I started keeping a victory log. A real time register of my executions. I bought a five dollar day planner from the office supply store, and instead of writing wishes for what I wanted to happen at the start of the day, I started writing achievements for what I made happen as the day progressed. Such a simple change, and yet, it was life changing. Emotionally invigorating. Completely shifted my philosophy about productivity. Because with each entry into the victory log, I felt more confident and more momentous and more satisfied. The ledger almost became a game to see how many things I could accomplish in one day, or if I could beat my record from the previous day. Never underestimate the power of small victories. Where do you keep your visual record of progress?


Internal creation of inspiring conditions. Waitzkin’s book about peak performance talks about creating ripples in your consciousness, little jolts to spur you along, so you are constantly inspired whether or not external conditions are inspiring. It’s the smartest way to stay productive. Digging your well before you’re thirsty, as it were. One technique for doing so is with associative triggers. These are the tools that echo your habits of action and allow you to enter into your creative zone. When I’m composing a new song, for example, I always spend a few minutes listening to my songwriting playlist first. This curated collection of inspiring music, to which I add new tracks every week, is my equivalent of lighting candles or smoking pot or doing shots. Because it’s the routine that’s linked to the inspiring state of mind required for peak creative performance. It’s not guaranteed to produce a hit single every time, but the associative trigger of the playlist never fails to create the fertile ground where the moments of conception are more apt to occur. And so, the trick to being prolific is to ensure that there’s something going on all the time, not just the moment you sit down and decide to start working. In the absence of external stimulation, we must be our own monitor, creating our own internal mechanism for inspiration. What are the associative triggers that allow your art to get done over and over again?

Make your own music. Harry is an expert forger of famous paintings. People pay him big money to travel around the world and play cover songs, so to speak. But his family urges him to use his talent on his own original work. Not just because it’s, ahem, legal, but because it’s an opportunity to become a legitimate creator in his own right. A true artist, not just a painter. Huge difference. Artists follow the muse, painters follow the numbers. They don’t play cover songs, they make their own music. When I used to perform music in bars and coffee shops, people would yell out names of songs or artists they wanted to hear. And that infuriated me. Because I didn’t come here to swim in the shallow end. I have an agenda, and people’s crappy childhood songs aren’t part of it. Eventually, though, I became so frustrated with people’s disinterest in hearing original music, that I stopped performing in public and went into music hibernation for nearly a decade. Which I completely regret. I allowed the voices of mediocrity to get the best of me. I allowed public taste to overwhelm personal expression. Fortunately, though, hope found its own way back. I started performing in public again. But this time, I brought the fire. My fire. I created my own venue, my own permissionless platform, where I could do whatever I wanted. The music was all expression and zero apology. And nobody seemed to mind. In fact, they quite liked it. Funny what happens when we give ourselves permission to make our own music. When did you start singing in your own voice?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What did you learn from this movie clip?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "11 Ways to Out-Market the Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Eyes Full Of Dreams -- Chapter 08: Good Things (2015) -- Scott Ginsberg Concert Documentary

Eyes Full Of Dreams is a musical and motivational masterclass about making use of everything you are. 

This film will be presented as a serialized, episodic documentary. I’m premiering each song as a stand alone chapter.


Watch the movie, buy the album and download the dream journal at www.eyesfullofdreams.com.



Good Things Burning off the souls of my shoes
No man can take
Take this love away from you
It’s a modern make, yes sir Let the good things linger, while they can
Let the good things linger, while they can Boots waiting for action
They may never see
Sometimes you shop for the mattress
Sometimes you shop for the dream Let the good things linger, while they can
Let the good things linger, while they can I got me a case of the humbles
I got me the bruises to prove it
I got me a case of the humbles
I got me the bruises to prove it You cannot care about everything
You can’t not care at all
You cannot care about everything
Don’t let them keep your spirit small

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's blocking your dreams?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "26 Ways to Out Brand Your Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com

"Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!"  --Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!